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Iconic soap 'Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi' to air last serial on 6 November news
05 November 2008

Mumbai: Eight years and more than 1,500 episodes later, the once popular prime time television soap 'Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi' draws to a close tomorrow, 6 November, with the telecast of its last episode.

This came about after the Bombay High Court on Monday dismissed its producers' plea for an injunction against halting the cancellation of the serial.

The court order came after the serial's producer, the Ekta Kapoor-headed Balaji Telefilms moved the vacation bench of the Bombay High Court last week seeking stay of the termination notice.

Star TV's counsel Ravi Kadam said the channel decided to yank the serial off the air following a drop in its 'television rating points' (TRP) between July and September this year.

Balaji's contention was that the agreement between the two parties provided that the show would run at least upto March 2009.

The total falling out of the once joint venture partners - Balaji Telefilms and Star TV - took place after SGL Entertainment, a Star Group unit, terminated sourcing and telecasting the eight-year-old soap on the Star Plus channel. Following this Balaji Telefilms, which provides content to many television channels, decide to file a suit against Star TV last month.

However, according to Ravi Kadam, the representative of Star Group, the High Court has dismissed Balaji's injunction and the serial would be taken off the air. While Balaji Telefilms can go ahead and appeal to a division bench of the High Court, the serial will no longer be telecast from 6 November.

The end of 'Kyunki' was clearly on the cards for some time now as its TRP rates were falling due to increased competition from rival channels like Colours, run by Viacom which airs the now very popular serial 'Balika Vadhu.' However the manner in which it has been taken off the air may have left a sour taste for both Star TV and Balaji Telefilms.

Media planners say that in 'Kyunki's' heydays Star was paying a premium for the programme due to its high TRPs and also to prevent Balaji from providing other broadcasters with popular shows at the same time slot. With time however, as newer shows became more popular, the premium on 'Kyunki' became meaningless.

'Kyunki' has not featured among the top five shows in the Hindi general entertainment genre for quite some time now. The industry however expected the show to be cancelled next year and the announcement came 2-3 months earlier than expected.

Balaji is expected to take a hit in revenues with the show going off the air, especially since its other long running show on Star TV 'Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki' was also taken off the air last month.

The separation of Balaji Telefilms and Star TV started in August this year, when both the parties cancelled their joint venture agreement to launch regional language channels and the Indian broadcaster said it planned to sell its 25.99 percent stake in Balaji.

Star TV's general entertainment channel Star Plus faces increased competition from Colors. NDTV Imagine, Zee Entertainment, Sony Entertainment and SaharaOne.

'Kyunki' the saga of the Virani family from Gujarat spread over three generations, with its central character Tulsi played by Smriti Malhotra Irani, spawned a number of family story based sagas on different television channels. With time however, such storylines began assuming a jaded look and other shows (reality and music) shows started replacing them.

Launched in 2000 'Kyunki' struck a chord with Indian viewers worldwide and gained popularity as an early Hindi soap.

'Kyunki' also changed the fortunes of Star Plus at a time when the channel was struggling for Television Rating Points (TRPs) due to its lack of original Hindi programming. At the time of launch the channel lagged behind in the Indian television industry, then ruled by Zee and Sony Entertainment Television. Kyunki continued to show double digit TRPs for more than five years - and even crosed the 20- TRP mark at one time. However, its rating points began to slide last year, and the dip became more prominent this year.

Kiran Bedi's show 'Aap ki Kachehri' will now replace 'Kyunki'.

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Iconic soap 'Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi' to air last serial on 6 November